Film Review: SOUND FROM THE DEEP (2017)

Although the poster claims that Sound from the Deep is inspired by the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, it is so ingrained with the minutia of his style that this 2017 short film feels like an extension of the maestro himself. In a mere 30 minute runtime, the writing and directing team of Joonas Allonen and Antti Laakso establish a dark and brooding world saturated with remnants of the Great Old Ones, only to leave our sole narrator a psychological mess.

An international research group is searching for natural resources from the Arctic Ocean. As they are about to end the voyage empty-handed, a strange underwater sound is heard from far north. Thinking it might be natural gas, they start their journey to the uncharted areas. As they get closer, they begin to understand the true nature of the sound.

The film’s plot seems vaguely familiar, but Allonen and Laakso manage to capture the nitty-gritty of what makes a tale Lovecraftian and executes it perfectly. The result is the first truly horrifying and mind-bending attempt at Lovecraftian storytelling in years. The continual sense of impending doom is nailed perfectly by the strong performances from Eero Ojala, Lasse Fagerström, Anastasia Trizna, Mikael Andersson, and Fabian Silén, while Ville Muurinen‘s cinematography is supported by a frozen, watery wasteland and the cold, sterile interior of an exploration vessel. The production is as enormous as the threats that lurk in the icy depths of the ocean.

Joonas Allonen and Antti Laakso and the team at Twisted Films have delivered a shocking and terrifying short film that also manages to be wonderfully mesmerizing. Hopefully, once Sound from the Deep ends its award-winning festival run, audiences everywhere will get a chance to see and own this fantastic piece of cinema.